Computer climate projections not always accurate


In the Science Matters column (U-B, Jan. 6) it is claimed science gained in computer modeling is hard to dispute.

That’s not quite the case. A massive amount of reporting is available that disputes modeling upon which the IPCC bases its climate projections.

Our planet had been recovering from the Little Ice Age since it began to end circa 1870. IPCC computer modeling erroneously factored in this warming as being driven by anthropogenic CO2 rather than a natural recovery, and then apparently input that trend into future climate projections which (erroneously) didn’t predict or detect the leveling off and cooling of the past 15-17 years. (Not to mention Climategate or Hockey Sticks.)

Google “73 UN climate models wrong, no global warming in 17 years” and you will find a report by John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama. He compared real world temperatures with the models using data sets of actual temperatures recorded by the NASA-Goddard Institute, the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and research by the University of East Anglia (Hadley-CRU), the NOAA, satellites measuring atmospheric and deep oceanic temps and found that “all show a lack of warming over the past 17 years.”

Patrick Michaels, director of the Cato Institutes’s Center for the Study of Science said, “And those 17 years correspond to the largest period of CO2 emissions by far over any other 17-year period in history.”

Michaels pointed out that 18 separate experiments published since Jan. 1, 2011, show the IPCC’s climate models are off by 46 percent when it comes to temperature CO2 sensitivity. “The pressure to warm the atmosphere by CO2 has somehow been canceled out completely by natural forces,” he said. “Surface temperature is simply not as sensitive to changes in CO2 as was assumed by the climate modeling community.”

Reaching the 17-year mark with no significant warming is a milestone. A climate change research team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory defined it as the minimum length of time necessary to “separate human-caused global warming from the ‘noise’ of purely natural climate fluctuations.” ”

Daniel Kish, vice president of the Institute for Energy Research, said, “We’ve had 17 years of no global warming, yet we have an energy policy that continues to harm American communities and will lead to much higher electricity prices.”

Unless turned around, the worst is yet to come.

Steve Singleton

Walla Walla



stvsngltn says...

If anyone is interested in more information to confirm erroneous IPCC computer modeling, and use a Kindle, Amazon has a 478-page report with examples and graphs by Bob Tisdale entitled Climate Models Fail ($9.99). Worth examination by anyone curious about the accuracy of IPCC climate models upon which our government's EPA relies for implementing regulatory restrictions and fines on industry.

Posted 21 January 2014, 10:11 a.m. Suggest removal

fatherof5 says...

With the exception of John Cristy, who is frequently cited as one of the very few climate scientists who holds his views, the sources cited in this article are funded by the Koch brothers and the oil industry and, therefore, lack credibility on this matter. They are conservative think tanks whose reason for existence is to spread a one-sided pro-oil, anti-environmental ideology.

That's not science. Robert Bradley, a former Enron executive, is the CEO of the Institute for Energy Research and is one of its founders. It receives funding from the Koch brothers, as does the Cato Institute, which was co-founded by Charles Koch. Bob Tisdale also seems to lack scientific credentials, based on anything I could find online.

If you want to persuade those of us who believe global warming is real and is caused by human activity, you are going to have to find credible, objective scientists with no connections to the Koch brothers...and a lot of them. They need to be well-respected in the scientific world for their objectivity and their credentials. I can find a whole lot of these types for my side, along with dozens of credible scientific organizations. Otherwise, it's just a lot of impressive-sounding words with little to back them up.

Posted 21 January 2014, 7:54 p.m. Suggest removal

blueskies says...

I agree with you. I am very welling to read both sides but the authors need to be well credentialed with expertise in the climate science arena, have peered reviewed publications and have no connection with the Koch brothers.

Sounds like John Cristy might be my man.

Posted 22 January 2014, 2:52 p.m. Suggest removal

blue_streak says...

Blueskies, before you rush off to Google John Cristy, there's quick video you can review (from a FOX TV weatherman!) summarizing the state of knowledge about climate change, with emphasis on recent winter weather.

Quicker than trying to wade through pages of reports from either the IPCC or the Cato Institute.

Posted 25 January 2014, 11:19 a.m. Suggest removal

stvsngltn says...

Your side? The only side that is important regarding the AGW issue is the side of truth. I have mentioned countless sources of research -- most of which references many, many more including noted scientists and their peer-reviewed work, yet your obvious bias supporting "your side" simply refuses to consider them (a trick often used by the IPCC when compiling their reports) or simply dismiss them as funded by the "fossil fuel" industry. Even if that last were true in every case (a preposterous claim) so what? If AGW is not a true and valid hypothesis, should fossil fuel power industries be criticized for funding research to prove it? Of course not. Unfortunately political biases have polluted the "science" regarding this issue -- and the above note, fatherof5 -- clearly reflects yours.

Posted 28 January 2014, 11:38 a.m. Suggest removal

GeneandCassie says...

Here is a link to an IPCC site related to data and modeling:

Posted 22 January 2014, 6 p.m. Suggest removal

GeneandCassie says...

Here is one quote found within a recent report at an IPCC website; regarding modeling; at this link:

'Nevertheless, models still show significant errors. Although these are generally greater at smaller scales, important large-scale problems also remain. For example, deficiencies remain in the simulation of tropical precipitation, the El Niño- Southern Oscillation and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (an observed variation in tropical winds and rainfall with a time scale of 30 to 90 days). The ultimate source of most such errors is that many important small-scale processes cannot be represented explicitly in models, and so must be included in approximate form as they interact with larger-scale features. This is partly due to limitations in computing power, but also results from limitations in scientific understanding or in the availability of detailed observations of some physical processes. Significant uncertainties, in particular, are associated with the representation of clouds, and in the resulting cloud responses to climate change. '

Contemplating quotes such as this one from an IPCC report, is the modeling science settled????

Posted 22 January 2014, 6:33 p.m. Suggest removal

blueskies says...

Science is never final but it doesn't mean that we throw it out.

I read some of the IPCC report and it was candid in discussing its limitations which is important for science to do. No science is 100%. I'm sure some of you are on medications, none of which are foolproof and come with a long list of side effects but I suspect you aren't making the philosophical/political arguments with medical science as you do with climate science.

It is too bad that the IPCC excerpt wasn't fully quoted. The paragraph started with "Nevertheless, models still show significant errors" and showed an example related to clouds and then ended with, "Despite such uncertainties, however, models are unanimous in their prediction of substantial climate warming under greenhouse gas increases, and this warming is of a magnitude consistent with independent estimates derived from other sources, such as from observed climate changes and past climate reconstructions."

That particular section of the IPCC report concludes with: "In summary, confidence in models comes from their physical basis, and their skill in representing observed climate and past climate changes. Models have proven to be extremely important tools for simulating and understanding climate, and there is considerable confidence that they are able to provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at larger scales. Models continue to have significant limitations, such as in their representation of clouds, which lead to uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change. Nevertheless, over several decades of model development, they have consistently provided a robust and unambiguous picture of significant climate warming in response to increasing greenhouse gases."

Again, if the IPCC report had been about your heart condition, I doubt you would be discounting the tests and observations and would jump on a medication with even less certitude than climate science.

Posted 24 January 2014, 12:50 p.m. Suggest removal

stvsngltn says...

I applaud your well-stated thoughts, Blue skies, and open mind. One question regarding many that could be asked of the several past IPCC reports is why none of their computer modeling predicted the leveling off and cooling of global mean temperatures over the past 17 or more years? Despite the steady rise of anthropogenic carbon dioxide?

Posted 28 January 2014, noon Suggest removal

stvsngltn says...

Good to have that link so thanks, GeneandCassie. I also suggest reading the online Summary for Policymakers by the NIPCC (Climate Change Reconsidered II Physical Science) ... I'll provide a link later but you can Google it. Fatherof5 will advise you not to read it (and NIPCC's previous reports in 2009 and 2011) claiming they are untrustworthy due to "big oil" funding but that isn't factual. See for yourself .... and also note the 40-50 scientists listed as authors, contributors, reviewers and editors in the back and throughout the chapters. They are from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, Norway, Russia, Italy, the UK, France, Denmark, Sweden, and Estonia.

Posted 28 January 2014, 12:35 p.m. Suggest removal

blue_streak says...

Well, Steve, we can agree on one thing: the 97 percent "consensus" figure is wrong.

A more recent study by James Lawrence Powell in the DeSmogBlog covered papers published in scientific journals from the past 12 months, from November 2012 to December 2013. Powell found 2,258 articles, written by a total of 9,136 authors.

Of that total, one - exactly one - disputed the evidence for human-caused global warming. So the correct percentage of scientific consensus is more like 99.9 percent instead of merely 97 percent.

The most ironic part is that this one- one- author is from Russia. His article states directly what his concern is:

> "The switch of world powers first to
> decreasing the use of fossil fuel and
> then to carbon-free energy within the
> framework of the Kyoto Protocol may
> lead to economic collapse for Russia
> as a consequence of the reduction and,
> probably, even loss of the possibility
> to sell oil and natural gas on the
> world market."

This means is that the only scientific paper published in the past year that supports the position of the ultra-libertarian Cato Institute works for Vladimir Putin.

Quoting the science policy director for the Cato Institute on climate science is a bit like asking the CEO of McDonald's for his opinion on the health benefits of a vegan diet. Cato is a shade more credible than the Heartland Institute but they are crystal clearly an advocacy group for anti-regulatory agenda.

Posted 23 January 2014, 6 p.m. Suggest removal

GeneandCassie says...

The IPCC website has a number of reports regarding Climate Change; I've skimmed through a few; my take remains that the science is not quite settled and that debates on the topic continue.

One example is a statement like this; which mention 'difficulties':

Difficulties remain in reliably simulating and attributing observed temperature changes to natural or human causes at smaller than continental scales. At these smaller scales, factors such as land-use change and pollution also complicate the detection of anthropogenic warming influence on physical and biological systems.

The above is from this source:

'Continental Scales' are quite large and contain quite a bit of internal variability.

The above source has numerous conclusions prefaced with qualifiers like 'likely,' which to me suggests that the science isn't quite settled yet. If the qualifiers were 'definitely' then things might be a tad bit more settled.

Posted 26 January 2014, 4:51 p.m. Suggest removal

GeneandCassie says...

Here is another link regarding Global Climate Models:

Posted 28 January 2014, 6:25 p.m. Suggest removal

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